Duke University Libraries, Emblem Books
Emblem books are a genre of illustrated books that was popular from the 16th to the 18th centuries in Europe. Emblem books contain illustrations that often visually represent or illustrate a moral fable or an allegory. The illustration is often paired with a phrase of text, like a motto or an epigram,that further explains the image. Many emblem books serve a didactic purpose and explain virtues, vices, religious principals etc. through words and image. Many significant artists, authors, and engravers contributed to the creation of emblem books and the texts compiled by Andrea Alciati and Cesare Ripa are celebrated examples of the genre.